1. The Duke of Edinburgh was born as Prince Philip of Greece at his parents’ house ‘Mon Repos’ on the island of Corfu, on 10 June 1921. The house had been the country residence of the British High Commissioner for the Ionian Islands. The family was forced to leave Corfu when the Greek Royal Family was exiled on 3 December 1922, when he was just 18 months old.
2. The Duke is the youngest child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. His paternal grandfather had been Prince William of Denmark until he was elected to be King George I of Greece. King George’s sister, Alexandra, married Edward, Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII, and his sister, Marie, married Emperor Alexander III Russia. The Duke renounced his Greek royal title in 1947 and became a naturalised British subject following his service in the Royal Navy.
3. The Duke had four older sisters; Margarita (1905-1981) who married Count Gotfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg; Theodora (1906-1969) who married Prince Berthold of Baden; Cecile (1911-1937) who married the Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt; both she and her husband and two sons were killed in an air crash on their way to London; and Sophie (1914-2001) who was married, first to Prince Christopher of Hesse-Cassel and, after he was killed during the war, to Prince Georg-Wilhelm of Hanover. He had a total of 19 nephews and nieces.
4. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria. The Queen is a direct descendent of Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Prince Albert Edward (later King Edward VII). The Duke is descended from Queen Victoria’s second daughter, Princess Alice, the third child of Queen Victoria. Queen Alexandra and King George I Greece were brother and sister which means that The Duke’s father, Prince Andrew, was a first cousin of George V. Both The Duke’s grandmother (Victoria in 1863) and mother (Alice in 1885) were born in the same room in Windsor Castle. The Duke was once taken by his grandmother to have tea with her aunt Beatrice (Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter) in her apartments in Kensington Palace.
5. The Duke started school in Paris and then went to Cheam School, a boarding preparatory school in Surrey. In 1933 he spent a year at Salem School in south Germany. While there he joined a friend in building a double-deck ‘hang glider’ (before that term was known). Fortunately they failed to complete it before The Duke left to join Gordonstoun School in Morayshire, Scotland. This was soon after it was founded by Kurt Hahn, the former co-founder and Headmaster of Salem. He eventually became ‘Guardian’ (Head Boy), and captained the school at cricket and hockey.
6. The Duke left Gordonstoun in 1939, after the Civil Service Examination, to join the Royal Navy as a ‘Special Entry’ Cadet at Britannia Royal Naval College. After a year at Dartmouth he was awarded the King’s Dirk as best all-round Cadet of his Term, and the Eardley-Howard-Crockett Prize (a £2 book token) for the Best Cadet.
7. Thanks to his experience sailing boats on the Moray Firth, The Duke was only one of two Cadets in his term who were considered competent to cox service Cutters and Whalers under sail.
8. The Duke joined the battleship HMS Ramillies in Colombo in 1940 as an 18 year old Midshipman. Ramillies sailed for Australia to furnish the escort for the first Australian Expeditionary Force on its way to Egypt.
9. In 1940, Greece was still neutral and as a Greek subject, it was considered that The Duke should not be employed in an area of active conflict. He therefore spent the rest of that year serving in the County Class cruisers, HMS Kent and HMS Shropshire in the Indian Ocean, with a short spell ashore in Colombo.
10. While serving ashore in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), The Duke was sent to Trincomalee, on the east coast, to assist a Naval team surveying the harbour. He bought a second-hand Standard 8 car in Colombo and drove himself to Trincomalee and back. He was back in Trincomalee in HMS Whelp in 1945.
11. As soon as Italy invaded Greece in 1941, The Duke was appointed to the battleship HMS VALIANT in the Mediterranean Fleet based in Alexandria. He saw action off the Libyan coast and in Malta, and in March took part in the night Battle of Matapan against the Italian Navy. The Duke was Mentioned in Despatches by the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, for his operation of the searchlights during the action. Prince Philip was later awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour.
12. In mid 1941, The Duke returned to England for ‘Sub-Lieutenants Courses’. This was followed by his appointment as a Watch-keeper to the Destroyer Escort HMS Wallace, part of the Rosyth Escort Force escorting convoys between Methil, through ‘E-Boat Alley’ to Sheerness and back. Later in 1942 he was promoted to Lieutenant, and soon after, at the age of 21, he was appointed as First Lieutenant and second in command. In July 1943, Wallace was sent to the Mediterranean as part of the naval cover for the Canadian beachhead for the Allied landings on Sicily.
13. In 1944, The Duke was appointed First Lieutenant of the Fleet Destroyer, HMS Whelp of the 25th Destroyer Flotilla, which was then under construction in the Hawthorn Leslie yard in Newcastle. Whelp was not ready in time for the D-Day landings, but soon after the invasion she sailed for the Far East to join, first, the East Indies Station, which was then engaged in the Burma campaign, and then on to Australia to joint the British Pacific Fleet (BPF) in the war against Japan. The BPF took part in a number of operations in conjunction with the US Navy during 1945 including the landings on Iwo Jima.
14. Later that year, Whelp and her sister ship, Wager, were detailed to escort the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Bruce Fraser, in his Flagship HMS Duke of York, for a conference with the US Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Chester Nimitz, in Guam. It was while they were in Guam that the first nuclear weapon was dropped on Japan. When it became obvious that the Japanese were about the surrender, the two Commanders-in-Chief, Nimitz in the battleship USS Missouri with four destroyers, and Fraser in HMS Duke of Yorkm with Whelp and Wager, sailed for Japan and later arrived in Tokyo Bay.
15. On 2nd September 1945, the Japanese signed the surrender onboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Later that year, after witnessing the formal Japanese surrender of Hong Kong, The Duke returned home in Whelp and she was paid-off in Portsmouth in February 1946.
16. The Duke was appointed to HMS Glendower as an instructor for new entry naval ratings in what had been intended to be a Butlin’s Holiday Camp at Pwllheli in north Wales.
17. The Duke later served as an instructor at the Petty Officers’ School in Corsham between September, 1946 and December, 1947. It was during this appointment that he became engaged to Princess Elizabeth. The wedding had to wait until November, 1947 when The King and Queen and their two daughters returned from the Royal Tour of South Africa. The King gave him the titles of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. Both he and the Princess were admitted as Knights of the Garter in 1947.
18. The Duke of Edinburgh is the second holder of the title in recent history. The previous holder had been his great-great uncle, Prince Alfred, the fourth child and second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He was born on 6th August 1844 and created Duke of Edinburgh in 1866. He had a distinguished naval career, retiring as Admiral of the Fleet in 1893. He succeeded his father as Duke of Coburg and died there in 1900.
19. After their honeymoon at Balmoral, The Duke returned to the Navy and was appointed to attend the Naval Staff College at Greenwich. This was followed in July 1950 by promotion to Lieutenant Commander and appointment as First Lieutenant of HMS Chequers, the Leader of the First Destroyer Flotilla stationed in Malta.
20. After a year in that appointment, The Duke was appointed to command the anti-submarine Frigate HMS Magpie. During his two years with the Mediterranean Fleet, Princess Elizabeth was able to join him while his ship was in Malta.
21. While his ship was being re-fitted, The Duke was able to join Princess Elizabeth for an extended coast to coast tour of Canada in 1951. He was promoted to Commander, but then had to give up his command in order to accompany the Princess for a tour of Australia, which The King was forced to abandon due to ill health.
The couple had got as far as Kenya when the news arrived that The King had died and that the Princess had
succeeded as Queen Elizabeth II.
22. In January 1953, after 14 years service, The Duke gave up his active career in the Navy, and was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet, and appointed Field Marshal and Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
23. The Duke learned to fly with the RAF at White Waltham and gained his RAF Wings in 1953, his helicopter wings with the Royal Navy in 1956, and his Private Pilots Licence in 1959. He gave up flying in August 1997 after accumulating 5,986 hours as a pilot in 59 types of aircraft in 44 years. He was Grand Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators from 1952 until 2002.
24. The Duke was appointed Chairman of the Coronation Commission, while the Duke of Norfolk, as Earl Marshal, had the executive responsibility for organising the event.
25. In 1952, The Duke was appointed President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee for the Design of Coins, Seals and Medals. This involved him in the process of selecting the coins of the realm for the new reign. He remained President until he retired in 1999.
26. From the moment The Queen succeeded, The Duke was in demand by scores of voluntary and charitable organisations. Indeed the demand had already started the moment he was married to Princess Elizabeth. His first connection was in 1947 when he accepted to become President of the London Federation of Boys Clubs – now London Youth. Soon afterwards he became President of the National Playing Fields Association – now Fields in Trust – and played a series of ‘high profile’ cricket matches to raise money for the NFPA. He was also President of the Central Council of Physical Recreation. When the Sports Council was set up in 1972, it was intended that the CCPR would be wound up. The Duke felt strongly that amateur sport needed a representative body and managed to keep the CCPR in being.
27. In the early 1950s The Duke was persuaded by his old Headmaster, Kurt Hahn, to initiate an award scheme for young people. He chaired the committee which developed the idea for what became the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. It now operates all over the world and it is estimated that, since 1956, around 6 million young people in 120 countries have gained Awards.
28. In 1948 he was invited to become a Member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, and he then became its Admiral in 1953. A few years later, when the Commodore died, he was invited to become Commodore as well, while succession and governance issues were sorted out. He then reverted to Admiral. Many yacht clubs (36), which had enjoyed the patronage of the late King, invited him to take on that role. Through his interest in sailing, The Duke got to know the yacht designer and small boat sailor Uffa Fox, and persuaded him to collaborate with Fairey Marine to try ‘foils’ under a sailing boat. Uffa produced a 24 ft Gunter-rigged dinghy, which was very fast, but the experiment was not a success. The Duke went on the sail ‘Fairey Fox’ (without foils) in several races during Cowes Weeks. The Duke also got to know Sir Christopher Cockerell, who invited him to try his hand at ‘piloting’ his experimental hovercraft.
29. From 1956 to 1970 and then again from 1975 to 1980, The Duke served as President of the Royal Yachting Association. He served as President of the Commonwealth Games Federation from 1954 to 1990 and attended the 10 games within those years. The Island Sailing Club in Cowes gave Princess Elizabeth and The Duke a Dragon class yacht as a wedding present, which they named ‘Bluebottle’ after the colour of its hull. That same blue colour was later used for the hull of the Royal Yacht Britannia. Bluebottle, steered by Lt Cdr Graham Mann, won a Bronze medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.
30. The Duke took up playing polo while stationed in Malta from 1949 to 1951. On return to the UK he continued to play at Cowdray Park before being instrumental in setting up the Household Brigade (now Guards) Polo Club on Smith’s Lawn in Windsor Great Park. He retired in 1971 with a handicap of 5.
31. After a visit to the Show Jumping Arena at Hickstead, The Duke set up the Windsor Park Equestrian Club, also on Smith’s Lawn. He was elected President of the International Equestrian Federation every four years from 1964 until he retired in 1986. As President, he was instrumental, amongst other things, in establishing a Veterinary Committee and Veterinary Regulations, and in writing the first International Rules for Carriage Driving Events. In his capacity as President of FEI, he attended four Olympic Games in Mexico, Munich, Montreal and Los Angeles. He visited Kiev in 1973 to witness the European three Day Event Championships in which his daughter, Princess Anne, competed. He visited Moscow to inspect the preparations for the 1980 Olympic Games, but he was not able to attend the Games owing to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
32. Having given up polo, The Duke took up Competition Carriage Driving with a team of four carriage horses borrowed from the Royal Mews. He attended several World and European Championships as a member of the British Team and won one World Team Gold and three World and one European Team Bronze Medals. His best individual place at a Championship was 6th. He gave up driving horses when he reached the age of 65 in 1986, but continued competing with a team of Fell ponies from Balmoral until 2006. He took part in the European Championship for Pony Teams in 2002.
33. The Duke has been connected with several other major sports. He was President of the Football Association from 1955 to 1958, President of the MCC in 1950, and again in 1974. In association with Sir Michael Ansell, he was responsible for devising the Pony Club Mounted Games competitions and gave the Prince Philip cup for the national finals at the Horse of the Year Show.
34. Largely as a result of being asked to give so many speeches and lectures, The Duke has been responsible for a number of books, including ‘Selected Speeches 1948-1955’ (1957); ‘Prince Philip Speaks’ (1960); ‘Birds from Britannia’ (1962); ‘Wildlife Crisis’ (with James Fisher, 1970); ‘The Environmental Revolution’(1978); ‘Competition Carriage Driving’ (1982, rev. 1994); ‘A Question of Balance’ (1982); ‘Men, Machines and Sacred Cows’ (1984); ‘A Windsor Correspondence’ (1984); ‘Down to Earth’ (1988); ‘Survival or Extinction: A Christian Attitude to the Environment’ (1989); ‘Driving and Judging Dressage’ (1996); ‘30 Years On and Off The Box Seat’ (2004). Down to Earth is even available in Japanese.
35. The Duke began to take a special interest in science, technology and the revival of British industry after the devastation of the war years. He was invited to become Patron of the Industrial Society (now The Work Foundation) in 1952. This, and a tour of industrial developments in northern Canada in 1954, resulted in the organisation of the Commonwealth Study Conference starting in Oxford in 1956 with 300 members under 40 years old drawn from all Commonwealth countries. This was intended as a ‘one-off’ but is has been repeated in other Commonwealth countries every six years ever since. In 1957 he initiated a Commonwealth Technical Training Week, which was held in 1961 with the object of drawing attention to the importance of apprenticeships and technical training.
36. Apart from accompanying The Queen on all her Commonwealth tours and State Visits abroad, The Duke has made many visits to the smaller Commonwealth countries on his own. These included a voyage across the Pacific in the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1971 paying visits to most of the Crown territories in the area including Palmerston Island. Returning from the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956, he crossed the South Pacific in the Royal Yacht calling on the British Antarctic Survey Bases on the Grahamland Peninsula, and then the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha, other smalls islands in the South Atlantic and Gibraltar on the way to meeting The Queen for a State Visit to Portugal.
37. The Duke was invited to become President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1951, 100 years after the Prince Consort had held that position. The meeting was in Edinburgh where The Duke gave the inaugural address titled ‘The British Contribution to Science and Technology in the past 100 years’. In 1959 he attended meetings of the Indian, and Pakistan Associations for the Advancement of Science.
38. In 1965 The Duke was invited to become the President of the Council of Engineering Institutions. In 1976, he was instrumental in persuading the Council to establish the Fellowship of Engineering, which, for the first time, included the most distinguished engineers from all engineering disciplines. In 1992, this became the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was invited to become Senior Fellow in 1976.
39. Between 1965 and 2011, The Duke was President of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. In 1965, he was invited to become Visitor to the Royal College of Art. These two bodies have been active in encouraging collaboration between the arts and industry. In 1952 he was invited to succeed The Queen as President of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and retired in 2011.
40. The Duke has taken a particular interest in the conservation of nature and the natural environment. In 1960, together with Lord Buxton, he initiated the first of three ‘Countryside in 1970’ conferences. This led to his being invited to become the first President of the World Wildlife Fund in 1961. He accepted to be President of the British National Appeal but he declined the international position because he was already fully committed to the FEI. When he retired from the FEI in 1981, he was invited to become International President of WWF and served in that capacity until 1996, and is now President Emeritus. His involvement included chairing all Executive Committee meetings, Trustees meetings, annual conferences and visits to WWF projects all over the globe, including the Russian Arctic coast and the Panda Captive Breeding Centre at Wolong in China.
41. The Duke enjoys painting landscapes in oils. A friend persuaded him to take it up but it was not until he met Edward Seago, when he was staying at Sandringham as a friend of the late King and Queen, that he began to appreciate its complexities. He invited Seago to join him in HMY Britannia for the return journey from the Olympic Games in Melbourne, when he managed to pick up a lot of good advice. As he withdraws from ‘executive responsibilities’ he is finding more time for this hobby.
42. The Duke became a ‘twitcher’ on that same voyage when he had splendid opportunities to watch and photograph sea birds flying around the Yacht in the South Pacific and South Atlantic Oceans, and during his many tours on behalf of WWF. He published ‘Birds from Britannia’ in 1962 using photographs he had taken from the Yacht during that voyage. He was President of Peter Scott’s Wildfowl Trust for a number of years. He has been Patron of the British Trust for Ornithology since 1987.
43. All matters maritime have interested this former naval officer. He was appointed a Trustee of the National Maritime Museum in 1948 and served in that capacity until 2000, when he was invited to become the Museum’s Patron. It was in collaboration with the Museum’s Director, Frank Carr, that the Cutty Sark Trust was formed to save this famous tea clipper from the breakers’ yard. The Trust was able to raise the funds needed to acquire the ship, build a dry dock at Greenwich and restore her hull and rigging for public display. Sixty years later, work on the ship resulted in a damaging fire, but, again, the necessary funds have been found for a complete restoration of the fabric of the ship. She should be back on public display in time for the Olympic Games in 2012.
44. Together with Frank Carr, The Duke later established the Maritime Trust with the intention that it should do for historic ships what the National Trust was doing for historic houses. Over the years the Trust was responsible for saving such ships as Brunel’s Great Britain (now in Bristol); the first ‘ironclad’ HMS Warrior (now at Portsmouth); Henry VIII’s great ship Mary Rose (also in Portsmouth); Scott’s Discovery (now at Dundee); the 18th century frigate HMS Unicorn (also at Dundee); and another 18th frigate built in Bombay HMS Trincomalee (at Hartlepool), in addition to several smaller ships and craft. When the new SS Great Britain was floated out of her dry-dock in Bristol in 1843, the Prince Consort was onboard. 127 years later, when she was floated back in to the same dry-dock, his great-great grandson, The Duke of Edinburgh, was onboard.
45. In 1992 a devastating fire severely damaged to the north-east corner of Windsor Castle. It so happens that The Duke was chairing the WWF Annual Conference in Buenos Aires in Argentina at the time. Since the House of Commons declined to vote any funds for the restoration of the Castle, the Royal Household, under the direction of Sir Michael Peat (Keeper of the Privy Purse at the time) determined to raise the money needed to carry out the work. This was largely achieved by opening Buckingham Palace to the public and charging admission. As soon as The Duke returned he was asked to become Chairman of the Restoration Committee. The Committee obtained the agreement of all relevant authorities to its general plan, and work was able to go ahead without interference or interruption. Part of the plan included re-siting the Private Chapel in such a way that its window looked out over the Upper Quadrangle. The Duke’s sketch for a suggested stained glass window was adopted and executed by Joseph Nuttgens.
46. The Duke was the first member of the Royal family to be involved in television programmes. In May 1957, he presented a programme for the BBC about his four and a half month tour of the Commonwealth. In 1967, he introduced once of Lord Buxton’s ‘Survival’ series about the Galapagos Islands called the ‘Enchanted Isles’. He was the anchor-man for a programme on physical recreation for the CCPR. In 1957, he made a BBC programme during the International Geophysical Year under the title ‘The Restless Sphere.’
47. In 1965, the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, invited The Duke to chair a committee to design a scheme to reward industrial and export achievement. They became the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise including the categories of Industry, Export and Environmental Achievement.
48. The Duke is Grand Master and First and Principal Knight of the Order of the British Empire. It was founded by King George V to recognise public service throughout the Empire and Commonwealth.
49. In 1984, the Rowntree Foundation persuaded The Duke to chair ‘An Inquiry into British Housing’. Members were drawn from every aspect of the subject, so it was a considerable achievement when the Committee produced a unanimous report, which, among other things, recommended the phased withdrawal of Mortgage Interest Tax Relief. He had previously served as President of the National Federation of Housing Associations for a short time.
50. The Duke has many military associations. In 1953, he was appointed Captain General of the Royal Marines. He was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars and the Wiltshire Regiment in 1952. The Wiltshire Regiment was amalgamated with the Royal Berkshire Regiment to form the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment. Subsequent amalgamations have turned these regiments into The 4th Battalion of the Regiment of Scotland, the Highlanders; The Queen’s Royal Hussars; and The 1st Battalion, The Rifles. He is also Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and of the Intelligence Corps. He is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment and of the Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He is also Honorary Colonel of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment.
51. In 1953, The Duke was appointed Colonel of the Welsh Guards until he handed them over to the Prince of Wales in 1975. He was then appointed Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, the senior regiment of the Foot Guards. In this capacity he chairs the Senior Colonel’s Conference of all the Colonels of the Household Division Regiments. He wears the full dress uniform of the Grenadier Guards at the annual ceremony of Trooping the Colour to mark The Queen’s official birthday. He rode in this parade until 2003, when his horse ‘Phillipa’ was retired. He now rides with The Queen in a carriage.
52. In 1977 The Duke was appointed Honorary Air Commodore at RAF Kinloss. The maritime reconnaissance Nimrods were based at Kinloss until they were scrapped in 2010. He has been an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society since 1953.
53. The Duke was invited to become Chancellor of the University of Wales in 1948, and one of his first acts was to present his wife, Princess Elizabeth, with an Honorary Degree. During the ceremony he had to recite the appropriate formula in Welsh. He relinquished the appointment to his son, The Prince of Wales, in 1976.
54. He was Chancellor of Edinburgh University from 1952 to 2011; of Salford University from 1967 to 1991, and Chancellor of Cambridge University from 1976 to 2011. He is a Life Governor of King’s College, London; Patron of the London Metropolitan University; and Visitor of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. In 1972 he was invited to accept the position of President of the Royal College of General Practitioners for its 21st Anniversary year, and then to be Patron. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and, of Edinburgh. He is Patron of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
55. The Duke has always liked collecting things. He remembers as a boy making a collection of penknives. In spite of the fact that the Royal Collection of Pictures is one of the biggest in the world, his association with the conservation of nature encouraged him to buy wildlife art. When he and The Queen first went to stay at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, it had only recently been restored and re-furnished in the time of King George V and Queen Mary. While the main public rooms had some splendid pictures, the upstairs rooms and corridors were mainly hung with prints. For a number of years The Duke used to look in on the Royal Scottish Academy’s Summer Exhibition and buy two or three pictures by contemporary artists. Around 140 of these are now hanging in the upstairs rooms and corridors of the Palace. He has also commissioned a number of artists to paint views of Windsor and of ‘family’ castles in Germany.
56. One of The Duke’s more unusual collections is of original political and royal cartoons, including several by Giles. In this he has followed the example of Kings George III and George IV, whose collections are now held by the Library of Congress. The Duke’s cartoons are hanging at Sandringham.
57. Buckingham Palace was spared serious bomb damage during the Second World War, the only significant damage being suffered by the Private Chapel. Inevitably the repair of the chapel had a low priority. As a good reason for getting the building repaired, The Duke proposed that it should be fitted-out as a picture gallery. The object would be to put on seasonal exhibitions of items from the Royal Collection. Since little or no conservation work had been possible during the war, many of the pictures needed cleaning and the frames repairing. Putting them on exhibition would encourage necessary conservation. The new gallery proved to be a success. It was considerably enlarged in the 1990s and opened by The Queen in May 2002. The Duke is Patron of the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts.
58. In 1961 The Duke was visiting Pakistan with The Queen, and attended the Lahore Horse and Cattle Show, where he saw the biggest massed pipe band he had ever seen on parade. However, he noticed that both the piping techniques and the traditional pipe tunes suffered a bit from the loss of direct contact with Scottish pipers. He therefore offered the President, General Ayub Khan, to provide piping trophies for the best individual Pakistan Army Piper and the best Regimental Pipe Band, on condition that he could nominate the Judge. This was happily accepted and the annual competition continues keenly to this day.
59. During his public life The Duke has been called upon to make a great many of public speeches and lectures. The estimate is 5,000, an average of 8 a month for 58 years. His collected speeches cover over a yard of shelf space.
60. The Duke has been given a great many ‘official’ gifts during his tours abroad and by visiting Heads of State. Among the more unusual were two live pigmy hippopotami from President Tubam of Liberia in 1961; and a giant porcelain grasshopper (wine-cooler) from President Pompidou during the State Visit to France in 1972.
61. The Duke has been President of the English-Speaking Union since 1952. He was instrumental in persuading the Union to make the promotion of the English language as a means of international communication its main object. He has presented the Union with a number of Awards for books and electronic programmes designed to teach English. He also persuaded the Union to establish an English Language Committee, which he chaired until he retired in 2011. The Committee keeps track of all developments in the use of English worldwide.
62. The Duke has always been interested in design. He designed a bracelet as his wedding present to The Queen. The stones came from a tiara owned by his mother. He has initiated a number of projects intended to draw attention to the importance of design and to enhance the status, particularly, of industrial designers. To this end he initiated through the Design Council, the annual Prince Philip Designer’s Prize. The selection committee has been chaired by The Duke since 1959, but the members of the committee are nominated by professional bodies for limited term of service. The candidates are recommended by a separate list of professional bodies.
63. The Duke had met the celebrated British composer Benjamin Britten with friends, and in 1958, he invited him to compose settings for the Jubilate and Te Deum for the St. George’s Windsor Chapel choir.
64. A salute of 41 guns is fired on The Duke’s Birthday by the King’s Troop Royal Artillery in Hyde Park, and the Union flag is flown from government buildings on that day.
65. The Duke is a Freeman of the cities of Acapulco; Belfast; Bridgetown; Cardiff; Dar-es-Salam; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Guadalajara; London; Los Angeles; Melbourne and Nairobi.
66. The Duke has encouraged dialogue between the three Abrahamic faiths – Christians, Jews and Muslims through his support, with Prince Hassan of Jordan, and Sir Evelyn Rothschild for a series of conferences organised by the Inter-faith Dialogue.
67. In 1962, Robin Woods became Dean of Windsor and set about re-organising the College of St. George’s. In conjunction with The Duke he set about the creation of a conference centre in surplus Canon’s residences. St. George’s House has since hosted many discussions between leaders in every aspect of national life organised in the discreet environment of Windsor Castle.
68. The Duke’s Standard consists of four quarters; the three lions and hearts from the Danish Royal coat of arms; the white cross on a blue background from the Greek national flag; the black and white stripes from the Battenberg coat of arms; and Edinburgh Castle from the City of Edinburgh’s coat of arms. He chose Edinburgh Castle surmounted by a Ducal Coronet and surrounded by the Garter as his ‘Badge’, and green as his ‘livery’ colour. All his cars have been painted ‘Edinburgh Green’.
69. The Duke is Ranger of Windsor Great Park and takes a close interest in all its agricultural and silvicultural activities. The Duke has been President of the Royal Agricultural Society of England three times, in 1957, 1963 and 1980. He was instrumental in forming the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth in 1958.
70. When appropriate The Duke wears the kilt. In uniform it is the relevant regimental tartan; in plain clothes it is either the Balmoral or the Royal Stewart tartan.
71. The Duke is a committed Christian. As President of the WWF, and in conjunction with Martin Palmer, in 1986, he organised a meeting between leaders of the major faiths during WWF’s 25th anniversary conference in Assisi. He encouraged the various faiths to look into their relationship to God’s Creation, and at the end of the Assisi Conference, he proposed the creation of the Association of Religion and Conservation (ARC). The purpose was to encourage the members to feel their responsibility for ‘God’s Creation’ and to care for the natural environment. ARC was to act as a technical consultant, and within a few years most of the major faith communities throughout the world had become associated with it.
72. The Duke has taken a close interest in the management of The Queen’s private estates of Sandringham and Balmoral, as well as Windsor Great and Home Parks. Over the years he has re-designed the layout of the gardens on the East Terrace of Windsor and designed the fountain. He created the private garden under the south wall of the Castle.
73. The Duke has gradually re-designed the gardens at Balmoral, including forming a water-garden which he dug out himself with a bulldozer.
74. At Sandringham he extended a lime avenue, and in the Home Park at Windsor he planted an oak avenue to mark The Queen’s Coronation. Since then he has planted a copper beech avenue at Sandringham and a hornbeam avenue at Windsor. He replanted a lime avenue in Windsor Home Park after the hurricane of 1987, blew down most of an old avenue. He persuaded the Association of High Sheriffs to celebrate their millennium by re-planting Queen Anne’s Ride in Windsor Great Park with about 1,000 young oak trees.
75. The Duke was closely involved with every aspect of the design of the Royal Yacht Britannia. Apart from helping The Queen with the interior design, he was instrumental in having her fitted with powered boats falls, and accommodation ladders.
76. As an ex-serviceman of the Second World War, The Duke has a particular interest in his fellow ex-servicemen throughout the Commonwealth. In 1974, to took over as Grand President of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League from his uncle Earl Mountbatten of Burma. He chairs all the Council meetings and, when possible, attends the triennial Conferences.
77. Of the 75 prizes, cups and medals associated with The Duke, the most unusual is probably the Silver Wink Trophy. In 1958 some students at Cambridge challenged The Duke to a tiddlywinks match. The Duke nominated the Goons – a radio comedy team including Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers – as his Champions. The Duke designed and had made a ‘Silver Wink’ trophy which, since 1961, has been presented to the winning team of the inter-University Tiddlywinks Championship.
78. The Duke is the first member of the Royal family ever to fly out of Buckingham Palace Garden in a helicopter. Just before the Coronation he discovered that no-one had been to visit the then Colonial military contingents, which were accommodated at Woolwich, or the Commonwealth contingents at Pirbright. The RAF was asked to provide a helicopter but was unable to do so. The Admiralty was approached and made one available. The flights caused a minor stir among the London air traffic authorities.
79. The Duke is the only person, so far, to have won both the horse teams class (1983) and the pony teams class (1988) at the Lowther Horse Driving Trials. The Duke finished three times in second place in the international horse teams driving event at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and won the competition in 1982.
80. The Duke has made some remarkable flights. In 1959, he flew to Ghana via Palma in a de Havilland Heron, spending the night in El Golea in the middle of the Sahara on the way. In 1997, he flew across the Pacific in a BAe 146 from Petropavlovsk, on the west coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, through a US Navy station in the Aleutian Islands to Anchorage in Alaska.
81. The Duke received a Blue Nose Certificate when he crossed the Arctic Circle in HMS Whelp in 1944, and a Red Nose Certificate when he crossed the Antarctic Circle in HMY Britannia in 1957.
82. The Duke has eight grandchildren – Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Lord Severn. Peter and Autumn Phillips provided him with his first great-grandchild when their daughter Savannah was born in December 2010.
83. The Duke had an early version of a mobile telephone, made by Pye Telecommunications of Cambridge, fitted to his car in 1953. He installed an improved version provided by the AA (of which he was President at the time).
84. The Duke acquired an Apricot computer in the early 1980s to make it easier to edit the Statutes and General Regulations of the FEI. He nearly got rid of it when that task was completed, but decided to keep it for his own correspondence, speeches and messages. He now has a lap-top.
85. The Duke, like many others, became concerned about the quality of the air in London in the 1960s and acquired an electric vehicle produced by Bedford, with a Lucas electric motor, and Chloride batteries for use in London. When these vehicles ceased to be produced, he acquired a London Metrocab Taxi, painted green, with an engine fuelled by liquid petroleum gas. The taxi was not required to pay the London Congestion Charge when that was introduced. It is still in use in 2011.
86. The Duke is the senior member of the Order of Merit. He was appointed in 1968. The Order was founded by King Edward VII in 1902 and is limited to 24 members for achievements in art, music, literature, science, engineering and industry. Members are appointed by the Sovereign.
87. The Duke was Chairman of the Westminster Abbey Trust which raised the money for, and supervised the restoration of the fabric of the Abbey between 1973 and 1997. When the Abbey decided to fill vacant niches above the Great West Door with figures of ‘modern saints’, one of those selected was the Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia, one of The Duke’s great aunts.
88. The Duke was instrumental in creating the Windsor Farm Shop, which was opened in 2001. It sells produce, such as beef, lamb, pork, poultry and eggs from the Windsor Estate, and game, apples and Apple Juice from the Sandringham Estate.
89. In 2009, The Duke became the longest serving consort in British history when he out-lived Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.
90. The Duke is the oldest living great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.
90 more facts to remember about The Duke of Edinburgh:
1. The Duke is into Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, crosswords, dictionary games, word-searches, etcetera, and has for some time also been an anagram enthusiast too. He has been rumoured to have posted some 1,656 of his better efforts to the Archive page at www.anagramgenius.com (89 under the nom-de-plume of "Nigel Hunton-Carsouls", in 2007). He has not, however, ever attempted one with a length of 30,840 letters (not to mention 976 numerals).
2. The Duke's favourite movie is the Blake Edwards (1922-2010) production of 'The Party' (1968), starring the late comic actor Peter Sellers (1925-1980). He has seen it at least 2 times a year since its release. All the Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral employees invariably know when he has had a recent viewing, as for about a month afterwards, the only thing that he seems inclined to say, as he wanders around the estate is "Birdie Num Nums! Birdie Num Nums!" repeatedly, in his feeble attempt at an Indian accent...despite the wife's entreaties of "Goodness gracious me, Pheeleep! Oh, do please stop it! One's becoming the teensiest wee bit wearisome!".
3. The Duke has confirmed that he was immensely affected by the 1976 Alex Haley novel (and 1977 television series) 'Roots', and therefore in 1989 he went on an intensely emotional visit to the village of Juffure, in The Gambia, where he was made an honorary griot.
4. The Duke suffered from severe acne from the age of around 12 until he was 18 or 19. He is reported to have cured the affliction in 1939 with his own effective remedial cream, of which the secret 19 critical ingredients of this concoction can now be revealed for the first time ever as a mixture of (in order of the amount used): Seaweed, olive oil, tea tree oil, arrowroot, liquorice, lemon juice, peyote, beetroot, egg white, onion, sesame seed, goose fat, rhinoceros poo, retsina, cornflour, cane sugar, cinnamon, coconut, and quinine. (Perhaps the acne would have gone of its own accord in his late teens).
5. Philip has the 1976 Stevie Wonder hit 'Sir Duke' set as the ringtone on his mobile. (An HTC Wildfire on a 24-month 'Dolphin' contract with Orange). He likes to take advantage of the occasional 'Orange Wednesday' 2-for-1 Odeon cinema ticket and meal at Pizza Express promotion whenever he and the wife have time. The most recent film that they have been to see is 'Thor', and he is looking forward enormously to seeing the new documentary 'Senna'. (See item #11).
6. The Duke has 2,159 friends on Facebook, and enjoys tweeting his 21,694 Twitter followers (as "philthegreek"). He has to date sent 1,561 "tweets", each and every one of which has been an exact 140 characters! He is a confirmed Farmville, Mafia Wars, and in particular 'Bejeweled Blitz' addict. His current level is 'Bejeweled Regent' (Level 99), and his highest total score is 519,550. He takes great pleasure indeed in "poking" his Facebook friend Agnetha Faltskog several times a day (with a wink "emoticon"). She has yet, however, to poke him back even once, deeming it, in her opinion, poor "netiquette"...but Anni-Frid Lyngstad refused his Friend Request and even blocked him from contacting her (which he still has not come to terms with).
7. The Duke had an uncredited non-speaking part as a porter in the 1982 film 'Britannia Hospital', directed by the late Lindsay Anderson (1923-1994), for which he was paid the princely sum of £199 for his trouble.
8. The Duke is credited with the official Guinness British national record for the greatest number of ferrets to be stuffed (simultaneously, of course) down one's trousers, with 13, set in 1999. However, he could only manage the feat for a mere 13.94 seconds.
9. In 1994, a delighted Duke was at the controls of the inaugural scheduled passenger-carrying Eurostar service which went from London Waterloo International station, through the Channel Tunnel to Gare du Nord station in Paris. The trip was completed in 2 hours, 59 minutes and 19 seconds, reaching speeds of up to 181.5 miles per hour in the tunnel. The locomotive unit in question was subsequently named "Prince Philip".
10. He has a large framed 1955 poster of John Wayne holding two chrome .45 pistols, captioned "The Duke", in his office, on which his own face has been superimposed over that of the late American actor. He finds this most amusing.
11. The Duke is indifferent to rugby, golf and tennis, but is a confirmed F-1 fan, and idolised the late Brazilian racer Ayrton Senna (1960-1994). He owns a signed crash helmet which was worn by the revered Brazilian at Donington in 1984, and after his sad accident on May 1st 1994 the Union Flag at Buckingham Palace was flown at half-mast in his honour (and has been on May the 1st. ever since). Until recently, Philip had Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix 4 F-1 racing game installed on his PC, which was connected to a 48" plasma screen mounted on a bit of formica on the end of an old bath (which he had painted red and white and covered in Marlboro and TAG-Heuer logos) to which he also attached a leather steering wheel and pedals...but for his birthday present to himself last year he splashed-out and treated himself to a custom-built high-specification £31,500 CXC Motion-Pro II vibrating and tilting three-screen virtual-reality driving simulator installed in the attic at Buckingham Palace, based around an authentic reconditioned McLaren MP4/4 chassis which was a present from Ron Dennis....but regrettably, he can no longer use it, as he now has a rather bad back, due to excessive acceleration, deceleration, and lateral G-forces, so he now has to entertain himself with his magnificent 8-lane floodlit, remote-control 1,995' Scalextric set which twists anti-clockwise around the entire 1,184 foot internal circumference of the four quadrants of the attic (an estimated £150-grand's worth of structural alterations and redecoration were required to achieve this) with 14 cross-over points, 66 banked corners and 18 loops, amplified stereo auto engine noises, and a 156' centrepiece reproduction of the Silverstone circuit, perfectly co-ordinated with his most-impressive landscaped Hornby train set, and he invites all his aristocratic chums (and the aforementioned Harry Redknapp) around on the second Tuesday of each month for a frenetic evening of slot-car racing...a tournament he calls "The Festival of Speed', while the wife is at her Mecca bingo night. The Duke is said not to be too enamoured of Bernie Ecclestone, and has said that he has got rather too big for his boots. The Duke has had a tattoo of the Ferrari 'Prancing Horse' logo on his right bicep since 1969, and he also has a pierced left earlobe (1966), but The Queen will not permit him to wear anything in it, not even a tasteful stud.
12. Apparently, the reason that the Duke walks with his hands permanently clasped behind his back (and I have it on good authority from someone who seems to have a somewhat unhealthy interest in these specific sorts of things!) is in fact because all the estimated 15-16 pairs of his Y-Fronts in current service (which were Christmas presents from The Queen, as previously mentioned in "80 More Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Queen Elizabeth" from 2005) have seen better days and become rather distended, culminating in him having to fold up the slack into a 6" cummerbund, and he discreetly holds on to it to avoid embarrassing his wife in public.
13. You'd never ever guess who he had in the back of his cab last month...that Martine McCutcheon from EastEnders! Her fare was £15, and tip £5. He has an authentic World War Two periscope mounted on the roof of the aforesaid cab.
14. Philip refused to remain in, or even anywhere near, Buckingham Palace whenever Tony Blair (or subsequently Gordon Brown) came around for their weekly audience with the Queen, describing them as "traitorous little pipsqueaks"...and don't even get him started on "that awful Cherie woman!". He tended to go out for a quarterpounder cheeseburger and fries at McDonalds in Leicester Square, or for a quick snifter with Norman Balon in The Coach and Horses in Soho for the duration of their visit, and he exclaimed "Damned good riddance!" when they were voted out of power in 2010.
15. A Mensa member, the clever Duke has a claimed I.Q. of 149, and an encyclopedic memory. His specialist subject in Mastermind would be 'Facts and figures about the Eurovision Song Contest'. He can recite the name of every nation, entrant, title, writer, and points won since its inception in 1956. His favourite Eurovision winner of all time is Abba's 'Waterloo' from 1974.
16. In what has become known as "Slappergate" (a rather acrimonious nightclub incident in 1989), eyewitnesses confirmed that the Duke was accosted in Dingwalls in Camden Lock by an emotional Amanda de Cadenet (17), who maintained that he had pinched her mate Mandy Smith (18) three times on the bottom there two months beforehand. Most put-out, he declared his innocence, describing the allegation, through his solicitor Peter Carter-Ruck, as "incorrect, ludicrous, without foundation, inconceivable, outrageous, malicious, and totally ridiculous", adding that he wouldn't ever be seen dead in Dingwalls, and that at far as he could remember, it was in The Embassy Club in Old Bond Street where he'd pinched the tart on her gorgeous peach of a bottom.
17. In 1979, his socialite sister-in-law Princess Margaret (then 49) invited him to accompany her on a 14-day romantic trip to the island of Mustique, in the West Indies, as Roddy Llewellyn withdrew at the last minute, being far too tired to travel...he'd spent 15 weeks attending to her herbaceous border. He was almost tempted, but he managed to resist her charms, and said that her breath "smelled like an old ashtray"...therefore Margaret invited the actor Peter Wyngarde instead (remember him?) and he agreed to come, having been promised that there were some divine seaside cottages on the island. He brought his own bucket, but unfortunately he did not bother with a spade.
18. The Duke has his hair washed and cut once a month for £9.95 by Sharon-Louise at Supercuts in the Elmsleigh Shopping Centre in Staines. He is not renowned as particularly generous with a tip, but he does at least send her a massive £65 bouquet of flowers each Christmas.
19. The Duke is good mates with Harry Redknapp, and has been an enthusiastic supporter of Tottenham Hotspur since 1954. He even has his own box at White Hart Lane, and has been known to shout out "Come on you yids!" when he gets excited at a game. He frequently struts onto the pitch before a game dressed as a cockerel (which is, of course, the official Tottenham mascot).
20. For a period in the summer of 1978 the Duke, wearing his maternal grandfather's Lederhosen (and not too much else), went backpacking across the mountains of the remote Kleinwalsertal region of north-west Austria, where he covered approximately 15-18 miles a day, and stayed at the Kurzschule Baad hostel, due to its long-standing connection with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, through the Outward Bound Trust, of which he was Chairman of Trustees and a patron. While there, he tried his hand at yodelling, of course, but he just could not get the hang of it, unfortunately sounding more like Sir Jimmy Savile.
21. His pet name for the wife is said to be "Sausage".
22. Philip's Christmas present from Prince Andrew last year was a DVD set of every episode of 'Starsky and Hutch', which he watched in one sitting over an entire weekend. The Queen still treasures the David Soul single 'Silver Lady' that Philip bought for her in 1977, and Philip treasures the Paul Michael Glaser-style cardie that she bought him in 1978, and the reproduction Scalextric red Ford Gran Torino with the white vector stripe (1984), which is too valuable a collectors' item to race.
23. One of the Duke's most cherished possessions (though not cherished quite as much as the Starsky cardigan or the Ford Gran Torino slot-car) is a copy of 'The Goodies New LP (Recorded Almost Live at The Cricklewood Rainbow)' from 1975, signed and dedicated to him ("Goodie wishes to Phil") by all three of The Goodies...Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor. His favourite song on it is 'Rock with a Policeman', with 'The Funky Gibbon' in a definite close second). He is also, for obvious reasons, rather partial to their 7" single in 1976, 'Elizabeth Rules UK'.
24. Philip appeared in a 1967 American television advertisement (which was filmed in the Arizona desert) for 'Grecian Formula' hair colourant, in which his restored barnet was provocatively caressed by the actress Arsula Undress (30), who it seems, had forgotten to put on most of her clothing that particular morning.
25. Philip is considered a pro-abortionist, and when he was asked in 1978 what he considered to be an acceptable recommended legal limit for a termination, replied "Oh, 750 weeks should be about right, wouldn't you say?". (Which was, in fact, coincidentally or not, Prince Edward's exact age at the time, including gestation).
26. The Duke has threatened to remain out of the country for the duration of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, saying that the "entire bloody palava is ridiculous and is a needless waste of money" and that it "ought to be held in Athens every time, with immediate effect".
27. In 1984 the Duke lost a bet with the former Conservative Prime Minister Sir John Major as to which of the pair of them would be the first past the post with the notorious Edwina Currie. His forfeit was meant to be to sing the comedian Benny Hill's 'Ernie, the Fastest Milkman in the West' while standing in a giant eggcup on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, but for many years he refused outright to do it, eventually settling instead on manning the 'Cones Hotline' switchboard for 14 consecutive days, in October 1995, during which time he answered a mere two calls, one of which was a wrong number and the other was someone ordering a "99 Flake" ice cream with a chocolate sauce to be delivered.
28. The Duke has signed-up for the 2011 series of 'Strictly Come Dancing', on the one guaranteed condition that he is partnered with Camilla Dallerup. Last month, whilst wandering around in the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Greenhithe, near Dartford in Kent, he was asked for his autograph by a schoolgirl who somehow mistook him for Len Goodman. However, he remained unperturbed and responded by quipping: "I bet I know how old you are...SEVERRRN!", then signed Goodman's name, and the child went away content that she had indeed met the esteemed Len...a score of "10" for that!
29. The straight-as-a-die hetero Prince Philip (and The Queen too, of course) were invited to the Civil Partnership ceremony between the singer Elton John and the "film director" David Furnish, in Windsor Guild Hall in 2005, and the lavish reception afterwards (but not the riotous stag do the previous night). He less-than-politely declined, harumphing "Good heavens! Two chaps getting hitched? What, with no fillies involved? Honestly, what *is* the world coming to? Not in my day they wouldn't! It's all that damn Diana Spencer's fault, I tell you! I mean, that's where this sort of touchy-feely cobblers all started. Bloody woman!", etcetera. So the rather more-enlightened Queen went along without him, and went with Nigel Havers instead, returning home at about half-past-four in the morning with a smile on her face. Despite his blatant bigotry, the Duke is a great fan of Sir Elton's music, in particular the mid-Seventies albums such as 'Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player' (1973) and 'Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy' (1975)...although he can't stand the 1984 single 'Passengers', and he claims that 'Candle In The Wind 97' makes him want to vomit.
30. Each Christmas, the Duke invariably falls asleep during the Queen's speech to the nation. This irritates Her Majesty no end, and she refuses to open her presents (or to let him have any Christmas dinner, port or mince pies) until the inconsiderate git apologises profusely.
31. The Duke has, on occasion, admitted in interviews that has had a huge (and thus far unrequited) crush on the actress and Gurkha rights activist Joanna Lumley for several years...but then, so too has every man over the age of about 54. (Except for the former Borders and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas, of course).
32. In the summer of 1935 the teenage Philip twice had initial trials as a trainee goalkeeper with Panathinaikos Football Club. He failed miserably, letting in a total of 79 and then 71 goals out of 96 shots. Nevertheless, he then worked there as a boot-cleaner for 18 months.
33. The Duke's favourite gentlemen's fragrance is Faberge 'Brut 33', of which he has, since 1965/1966, hoarded a stash of 195 bottles, which ought to see him out, and he does indeed "splash it on all over", as recommended by his life-long friend, the late pugilist Sir Henry Cooper (1934-2011). A grief-stricken Philip was one of the pall-bearers at Cooper's recent funeral.
34. In return for 15 annual bottles of vintage 1966 fine port from the wine cellars in Balmoral, he has an agreement with the Passport Office that his arch enemy Mohamed Al Fayed will never receive a British passport during his (the Duke's) lifetime. A determined Al Fayed is still quite confident of receiving the aforementioned passport. However, as a precaution in the meantime, the Egyptian always uses discreet bodyguards to accompany him down tunnels in his Mercedes.
35. In March 1979 Philip invented, and holds the registered technical and mechanical patents for, 'The Exturdinator'...a sonic macerator which he is hoping to put into commercial production in the near future, assuming that he can secure sufficient financial investment. The prototype unit, which efficiently liquifies waste matter by subjecting it for 5 to 6 seconds to a 41.2 cycles per second signal measured at a level of 146 decibels in an airtight acoustic ceramic chamber with a circumference of 19.5 centimetres, set into a reinforced concrete base, has been in continuous maintenance-free, problem-free service connected to the commode at the main convenience in Balmoral Castle since 1991. He got the idea for it while standing near John Entwistle's enormous amplification system (I wouldn't recommend it) at a Who concert at the Charlton Athletic ground in 1974. As both Dyson, and the Dragons' Den entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne have withdrawn from negotiations, a firm called Ashdown Engineering in Chelmsford have expressed an interest in investing at least an initial £1.25m into the macerator project, considering it not that far removed from their own particular field of technological expertise. He also holds the patent for a solar-powered nasal and ear hair trimmer idea that Deborah Meaden is said to be interested in. (For her own personal use, that is, not for investment).
36. Whilst watching the Northern Irish runner Mary Peters on the television during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, the Duke was elbowed in the ribs, and reprimanded for his indiscretion and rudeness by an irritated Queen after exclaiming: "Bloody hellfire! It's Ted Heath in drag!".
37. The Duke and his good lady wife frequent Nando's in the Queensmere Centre in Slough once or twice a month, where they both order Piri-Piri Chicken, washed down with a nice white Grenache.
38. In 1969 the Duke (with some help from Prince Andrew) spent around three-and-a-half months constructing a 12ft. square and 3 foot 3 inches high (3.6 metre by 1 metre) perfect scale model of Buckingham Palace using a reported 423,515 Lego bricks and 115,919 strips of Meccano....but the infant Prince Edward climbed inside it, and it unfortunately had to be dismantled as he (Edward, that is) burst into floods of tears and refused to ever come out. In a way, I guess, he has remained true to his word.
39. The Aboriginal tribesmen in Australia now refer to their longest carved ceremonial wooden spears (at a length of almost 9ft.) as a "Prince Philip", in his honour. The term has evolved and the tribesmen have in recent times adapted it to describe their intention to have marital relations with their wives, as in: "Ere, chief, I reckon that I'm gonna give the missus a right good Philiping tonight!"
40. Philip went to the 40th birthday fancy dress party of the late singer Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) at "Mrs.Henderson's Club" in Munich in 1986 dressed as Dame Edna Everage. The Queen went as Elton John, in a reproduction of his notorious Donald Duck outfit from his 1980 concert in Central Park, and was jumped-on from behind and fondled by Mercury, who when he realised who it was inside the outfit, was said to be somewhat horrified and mortified by his error.
41. At elite soirees and official functions, the Duke sometimes wears a kilt (in the traditional ancestral family tartan, of course, based on pink and yellow squares in a chessboard pattern). On occasions when he has had a few too many (or forgets to take his medication) he has been known to announce: "I say! Has anyone seen my impression of a lampshade?"...following which he does a handstand against a wall, and shouts "Voila! A lampshade!", to applause and gasps of admiration from the assembled toff guests and minions.
42. In 1996, the Duke was said to be not too impressed to hear that a waxwork museum in China was displaying effigies of the Royal couple, and that Her Majesty the Queen was depicted fairly accurately, but that he had been given slitty Oriental eyes.
43. The Duke is worshipped as a mountain spirit and a white deity by the natives in the tiny deep-forest village of Yaohnanen on the island of Tanna, in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. (Oh, alright alright, that *is* a wee bit too far-fetched, I made that one up).
44. The Duke has long been a confirmed karaoke fan and often holds informal such evenings at the Palace. He particularly likes performing what he refers to as 'Purple Reign' by 'The Duke Formally Known as a Prince', and the same artist's '1999'. Her Majesty likes to sing 'One' by U2, Doris Day's version of 'Winter Wonderland', and 'Wouldn't It Be Luvverly' in an excruciating put-on East End accent of indeterminate origin that is "even worse than that of Dick Van Dyke".
45. His favourite meal is cheese on toast, using thick-sliced seeded white bloomer bread and 'Seriously Strong' cheddar, grilled to golden, with plenty of salt and pepper, and a smear of Marmite, which he loves. (But he has a strong aversion to Vegemite).
46. In August 1989, the Duke was caught out by the late 'Game For A Laugh' presenter Jeremy Beadle (1948-2008), when he came home to find a determined gang of 14 itinerant gentlemen of Irish persuasion laying artificial turf squares and crazy paving on the Buckingham Palace forecourt. He was attempting to attach a tow-rope from his Rolls-Royce Corniche to their rusted old Ford Transit white van when the wretched Beadle appeared with a microphone, from inside the van, grinning inanely. Therefore, the Duke went livid...absolutely incandescent with rage...and effing-and-blinding, he booted a terrified Beadle in the alberts and stormed indoors, spouting vitriol. The episode has never been broadcast, and the videotape is presumed to have been wiped.
47: The Duke of Edinburgh's distant cousins Demetrios and Constantinos Mikellides own and run Olympus Kebabs at 91 Green Lanes, in Palmers Green, London N13.
48. In 1971, Philip made an appearance on the ITV children's show Crackerjack, in which he sang the Norman Greenbaum hit 'Spirit In The Sky' in a duet with Basil Brush, and performed Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" on the comb and paper. While on the show, he also found the time to take part in a game of 'Double or Drop', in which, in a rather lacklustre performance, he received three cabbages. Despite this rare lapse in judgement, he still criticised Fergie, Princess Anne, and the Princes Andrew and Edward for appearing on "It's A Knockout" in 1987.
49. In the Eighties, the Duke often used to holiday at Studland Cove in Dorset, and has been reported on the odd occasion to go skinny-dipping in the lake in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, but E.R. indoors won't let him do it anymore, so he has to wear his pair of initialled Daniel Craig-style blue "budgie smugglers". In 1991 he was caught in a Soho launderette in his boxer shorts, pretending to be Nick Kamen, and cautioned by the police.
50. The Duke is considering going over Niagara Falls in a barrel to raise funds for various armed services charities. He has promised Fergie (the perpetually-skint ginger-headed one, not the one from the Black-Eyed Peas, or the manager of Manchester United) that if she does it too, he will donate ten times whatever she raises. (Not that she'd fit in a barrel).
51. In December 2009 the Duke was granted an injunction to force YouTube into removing a video (believed to have been filmed on a mobile telephone by Prince Harry) of the Duke and Dame Shirley Porter dancing the 'Macarena', and he and Carole Middleton singing a karaoke version at 4.15am of the Will Smith 1998 hit "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" at Prince William's 26th birthday party at Boujis, in Kensington.
52. Throughout the summer of 1977, the Duke was allegedly somewhat tired of all the Silver Jubilee "stuff and nonsense", as he put it, and so was often to be found down at Meanwhile Gardens in Westbourne Park practicing his repertoire of skateboarding stunts, particularly "ollies", and 360, 720 and even 1080-degree spins.
53. The Duke loves to dress up as Crocodile Dundee, and to creep around in the undergrowth of Windsor Great Park, leaping out with a 12" plastic imitation machete and scaring the wits out of any unfortunate Japanese tourists.
54. The Duke is godfather to the former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel's youngest son Michael (aged 19).
55. The Duke voted 129 times for the dancers 'Stavros Flatley' when they appeared on Britain's Got Talent in 2009, and lodged a formal complaint with Simon Cowell when they failed to win. He frequently watches them on YouTube.
56. The Duke apparently tries to crepitate whenever he is about to be photographed. He has indicated that this is the only way that he can force himself to smile. This would explain why a hatchet-faced Her Majesty is never smiling in any photograph of the pair of them.
57. After watching 'The King's Speech' at Cineworld in Slough, the Duke reportedly said: 'I wonder if that damned therapist chap can sort out my frigging Tourettes Syndrome?' When informed that the chap (Lionel Logue) had died in 1953, a miffed Philip was reported to have replied: "Dig the old sod up then, for frig's sake, man!'
58. On April 17th in 2005, Philip was one of the 723 Elvis impressionists gathered in the London department store Selfridges, for a historic record-breaking attempt at the most number of people to impersonate Presley singing the same tune together (which was, of course, "Viva Las Vegas").
59. It is rumoured that Philip commissioned the Australian artist, entertainer and didgeridoo virtuoso Rolf Harris to paint him in the altogether as a surprise 80th. birthday present for his wife. It is not known whether she accepted it as there is a gagging order over the whole episode. However, canvas reproductions of what is purported to be the painting are being sold on Ebay for £14.99 plus £4.99 postage and packing by some geezer from Sevenoaks.
60. After the Windsor Castle fire in 1992, Prince Philip and Prince Charles released a largely-unremembered record together...a mediocre cover version of the Cat Stevens hit 'Father And Son' (from 'Tea for the Tillerman' in 1970), under the pseudonym 'Rebetika Masala'. The B-side was an unrehearsed home recording of Charles narrating the lyrics to The Move's 1968 hit 'Fire Brigade' accompanied by his father on a 1925 bouzouki. It was hoped that the royalties (no pun intended) from the release would go towards castle restoration, but public reaction was indifferent, to say the least, and it failed to chart...only 194 copies of the record were ever sold (159 of these bought by Charles) out of an original pressing of 12,500, and in consequence, they still owe the record company (Geffen) £11,847.95 to this day. Mint original copies now command up to £125-£135, and bootlegs £55-£65.
61. When interviewed on 'Nationwide' in 1975, the Prince said that he wished to be reincarnated as one of the Queen's corgis and to lie around on his back all night having his belly stroked.
62. The Duke likes to listen to the 1979 Village People hit 'In The Navy' on his 16GB iPod Nano whenever he is having a bath. At such times he takes in with him his collection of 9 hand-painted plastic toy British frigates, 5 aircraft carriers and 5 destroyers, and blasts them with the shower attachment (with the spray head removed). He is supposed to be somewhat of a perfectionist, and has been reported to spend up to two weeks to paint one of these ships. His youngest son Prince Edward likes to listen to any Village People tune at any time of the day or night. (And no, they do not bathe together...as far as I know).
63. In addition to his model battleships, the Duke also hand-paints gnomes, and 135 examples of his handicraft are scattered around the gardens in Buckingham Palace. Some faces are instantly recognisable, such as the Prince Rainier, the Yasser Arafat, the Adolf Hitler, the Spike Milligan, the Boris Johnson, the Eddie the Eagle, the Robin Cook (with fishing rod), the Idi Amin, the Yoko Ono, the John Lennon, the flying Eric Cantona, the Bjorn and Benny, the Bee-Gees, and Bananarama gnomes.
64. When interviewed in 1996, the Duke vowed that he will live to be a centenarian, at least, in order that he can receive a telegram from the Queen.
65. When John Cleese was recently considering the possibility of recording another series of the Seventies sitcom Fawlty Towers, Cleese told Philip that was he was in the running to replace Ballard Berkeley (1904-1988) as Major Gowen. He worked for days on his "Ah, Fawlty!", and was disappointed that the project unfortunately did not come to fruition...not least because he "definitely fancied having a crack at pulling that Prunella Scales filly".
66. The Duke was standing directly opposite when the runner Paula Radcliffe relieved herself during the 2005 London Marathon. He discreetly looked away, while holding his nose.
67. The Duke is a fan of the sitcom 'Rising Damp', and used to play a game or two of squash in Brentford Leisure Centre every Thursday morning with his late friend Leonard Rossiter (1926-1984). He says that Rossiter was the only man who ever made him feel inadequate in the trouser department.
68. Between 1959 and 1969, the Duke allegedly had a secret passionate affair with singer Nana Mouskouri, which supposedly produced a love-child named Pavlos, who is said to now be employed as an investment banker in Athens.
69. Since 1988, The Duke has been Honorary President of the Confederation of Indian Electricians.
70. In late 1991 Philip mistook a bottle of Comfort fabric conditioner for shampoo, and had to go around looking like a member of Kajagoogoo for several days, 10-11 years after this was considered fashionable.
71. The Duke is very experienced and more-than-proficient on the electric bass guitar, and plays now and again in a rock covers band called "The Slant-Eyed Tiddlies" in various watering holes in and around Slough, Eton and Datchet, performing stuff such as Cream, Deep Purple, Free, Led Zeppelin (he does a magnificent 1-minute solo in 'Immigrant Song'), The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Iron Butterfly, Taste, Rush, Black Sabbath, Extreme, Guns 'n Roses, etc., with Sir Geoffrey Howe on lead vocals and guitar, Brian Blessed on piano, Hammond organ and ARP 2600 synthesizer, drum duties shared between either Carmine Appice or the Duke of Gloucester (whichever of them is available on the night), and, if the money is good enough to warrant it, Koo Stark, Fatima Whitbread, and Princess Michael of Kent on backing vocals. He uses an immaculate vintage 1958 two-tone sunburst rosewood-fingerboard Fender Precision Bass (which he has owned from new (with its original tweed-covered case) valued by Christies at around £12,000, and a white 1968 Rickenbacker 4001 through a Digitech BP100 processor, an Electro-Harmonix "Big Muff" distortion unit, an MXR Phase 90, an Alesis reverb pedal, and a rack-mounted Moog three-band Parametric Equaliser into a Trace-Elliot AH500 amplifier with two 4x10" and two 1x15" speaker cabinets. (I'm not surprised that he's deaf). Prince Charles acts as a roadie and sound engineer on these excursions, and he also goes round with a glass at the half time break and after the gig. Between 1981 and 1983, Philip had a lucrative endorsement deal with the American firm Kramer to promote their 'Duke' minimalist headless electric bass guitar model, and he was featured in advertisements and reviews at the time, but he never actually used one live himself, finding the aluminium neck somewhat cold and uncomfortable to the touch.
72. The Duke can also play the bagpipes, but as a courteous and refined gentleman of impeccable taste and infinite conscience, he doesn't.
73. At the Queen's Golden Jubilee concert in 2002, the Duke stood-in for Eric Clapton at the morning soundcheck...as after flying into Heathrow Airport, Clapton was caught in a 4-hour M4 traffic jam, due to an accident. Philip managed reasonably respectable (but not brilliant) renditions of 'Wonderful Tonight' and 'Layla'...good enough to be invited out for a drink by Pattie Boyd, anyhow.
74. For his 50th birthday celebrations in 1971, the Duke hired a giant paddling pool and an inflatable castle, and he got somewhat inebriated (to say the least!) and ended up in the Accident and Emergency Department of St. Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, with an irate Jane Asher, after landing somewhat awkwardly on top of her, spraining her wrist, fracturing his instep, and ruining the whole cake that she had baked and was about to present to him.
75. The Duke was once ejected from a Royal Command Performance by a pretentious doorman who mistook him for Peter Stringfellow. No wonder...it serves him right for wearing a leopardskin-print jacket, and sporting a decidedly dodgy mullet...a fashion at the time. (In mitigation, it *was 1987).
76. Alan Titchmarsh has confirmed that everything he ever knew about gardening, he learned from the Duke, while serving as a teenage horticultural apprentice at Windsor Castle in 1968 and 1969.
77. The Duke is very much into roots reggae, and his favourite such gramophone recording is Culture's 'Two Sevens Clash'...from 1977, of course. He likes nothing better than to get a case or two of ice-cold Red Stripe lager in, skin-up a "Camberwell Carrot" of enormous dimensions, crank up the "Brixton briefcase" one time, and chill out for the evening in his hideout "bloke space" in the Buck House attic (with the air conditioner turned off). The Queen somewhat reluctantly allows him this one vice on the 1st. day of each month, despite the Palace window-frames rattling with Robbie Shakespeare's booming bass frequencies.
78. The Duke has his manservant bring him a full English breakfast, a pot of decaffeinated Earl Grey tea, and sweets ( such as a Snickers chocolate bar) at 11am every morning...except, that is, on the 2nd. day of each month...as of course there certainly *is* no morning then (and probably not much of an afternoon either, for that matter).
79. The Duke has a pet cockatoo called Diana, and he has taught it several phrases, including "Duran Duran are rubbish", and "Belt up!".
80. The Duke is fluent in several languages, including Mandarin Chinese, Irish Gaelic, Swahili, French, German, Afrikaans and Tagalog, but surprisingly, was until relatively recently unable to speak a single word of Greek or Danish, and so to at least redress the latter, has for the last 15 years been receiving tuition every Monday from the comedienne Sandi Toksvig. She, for reasons best known to herself, declined his generous offer of his free services in lieu of payment, and is thus paid £35 in cash per visit, in advance.
81. As it was 1999, the Duke bought Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones (or "Griff", as he tends to refer to her, much to Edward's chagrin) a toaster from Argos costing £19.99 for their wedding present.
82. The Duke was in the front row of the audience when the eccentric singer Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a live bat in 1982. He exclaimed "Well, I'll be jiggered!".
83. The Duke has a copy of every one of the 1,291 editions of Private Eye published so far. The 17 that feature himself on the cover he has had framed, and they take pride of place on his office wall. (Underneath the John Wayne poster).
84. Philip has never missed an episode of The Apprentice, watching it later on (on BBC iPlayer) if out to the cinema on an "Orange Wednesday", and likes to ring up the Duke of York, and say, in his best Sir Alan Sugar voice, "Andrew, you're fired!". In fact, he is an expert voice mimic. His specialities are Stuart Hall, Eddie Waring, Chris Eubank, Fred Flintstone, Nelson Mandela, Bruce Forsyth, and last but certainly not least, his hysterically amusing Professor Stephen Hawking imitation. On occasion he had been known to ring up the Raj of India restaurant at 166/168 Hampton Street in Tetbury, Gloucester, pretending to be Prince Charles (after he and Camilla have already had their dinner), and to order about £90 pounds worth of curry to be delivered to Highgrove House for a joke. They are on to it now, and are refusing to accept further orders for Highgrove in the foreseeable future.
85. For the Duke's 90th. birthday, the degenerate Prince Harry (yes, he of "wiggly worm" fame) was determined to take his grandfather out on an uproarious 24-hour bender, starting out and finishing at his close pal Guy Pelly's nightclub 'Public', but Her Majesty forbade it, with the viewpoint that the combination of seedy techno music, indecently-clad erotic floozies, and free champagne, wine and lager would over-excite him and set off his reflux. Instead, the geriatric old duffer spent an evening in on the settee with Her Majesty, quietly enjoying a light snack of Duchy Original Organic Gingernuts dunked in Ovaltine, and the one whisky and a Havana, before retiring to the Royal Boudoir at 11.15pm. Harry's birthday present to his grandfather of a Borat "mankini" thus remains unused...for the moment, at least.
86. Philip is a talented artist, and has been known to earn a bit of extra wedge in the credit crunch by drawing portraits and caricatures at £14.99 a time for tourists in Shaftesbury Avenue, WC1.
87. The Duke is (or now was) an enthusiastic devotee of the tele-evangelist Harold Camping (1921-soon), and had put his 90th. birthday celebrations on ice, in case the world did actually end on May the 21st. 2011. (If you are reading this, then it didn't!)
88. Amongst the many 90th birthday presents the Duke received were a ginger self-adhesive Giorgio Armani toupee from Sir Elton, a secondhand video of the 1982 film 'An Officer and a Gentleman' from Richard Gere, and 12 bunny girls from Hugh Hefner. He has returned the toupee.
89. After the April 29th 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the smirking Duke of Edinburgh was overheard on the front balcony of Buckingham Palace asking Catherine's sister Pippa if she had any Greek in her. She innocently replied in the negative. The Duke most chivalrously refrained from delivering the punchline.
90. He may be always putting his foot in it, as he would be the first to admit, but what a redoubtable character he is...and not a bad old stick really! He is remarkably "with it" for a nonagenarian, and a useful defence against political correctness.. So, a toast...I would like to take the opportunity, as he reaches four-score-and-ten years of life, and contemplates his retirement entering his 10th.decade, of wishing him a happy 90th. birthday, and look forward to him reaching his centenary. Nice one, Philip...well played, sir!
[31,816 letters and numerals]
This anagram won an Anagrammy in June 2011 (Special Category).
|Home||| The Anagrammy Awards | Enter the Forum | Facebook | The Team|
|Information||| Awards Rules | Forum FAQ | Anagrams FAQ | History | Articles|
|Resources||| Anagram Artist Software | Generators | On-line | Books | Websites|
|Archive||| Winners | Nominations | Hall of Fame | Anagrammasia | Literary|
|Competition||| Vote | Current Nominations | Leader Board | Latest Results | Old Results | Rankings|
|Miscellaneous||| Tribute Page | Records | Sitemap | Search | Anagram Checker | Email Us | Donate|
|Anagrammy Awards||© 1998-2017 Last updated 10th May, 2016|